Celtics game won't win beauty contest

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Celtics game won't win beauty contest

BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics win over the New York Knicks on Friday night at TD Garden was far from pretty.

There were a total of 46 free-throw attempts, 30 turnovers, and four technical fouls issued between both head coaches and a pair of players. Only after two hours and forty-five minutes did the Celtics edge out the Knicks for a 91-89 win.

Down the stretch, the game had the intensity of a playoff matchup, perhaps even more so than the Celtics-Knicks first round series last season. After trailing by 12 points, the Celtics came back to take a two-point lead with 5.2 seconds left. Even then, the Knicks still had a chance to pull of a game-winner but Steve Novak missed the final shot.

My mind is blank right now, Carmelo Anthony said after the game. I cant even remember that last play. I dont know what happened. I will answer that question tomorrow.

While Anthony couldnt put the end result into words, Paul Pierce offered an analogy for the grind-it-out win. It is one that he hopes carries over to Sundays Super Bowl showdown between the New England Patriots and New York Giants.

That seemed like a game in the third and fourth quarter where you had two teams maybe in the summer and somebody said, Whoever wins this game, youre going to make the NBA. And they both teams were just fighting for it, he said. Whatever team wins, youre going to be on the roster this year. And it was just that kind of fight. Maybe thats what it is when you get New York and Boston together. And I hope this is an indication of whats going to happen Sunday.

Highlights: Devin Booker puts up 70 points but Celtics get the win

Highlights: Devin Booker puts up 70 points but Celtics get the win

Highlights from the TD Garden as Devin Booker had a historic performance where he scored 70 points, but it wasn't enough to get the win over the Celtics.

Thomas on Suns: 'We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery'

Thomas on Suns: 'We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery'

BOSTON – Stacking wins on top of wins is the mindset of the Boston Celtics right now, so the players who did speak to the media following Friday’s 130-120 win over Phoenix drove that point home emphatically.

But inside the locker room, it was unusually quiet, the kind of silence you expect following a loss.

Considering how the Celtics’ defense was absolutely thrashed by Devin Booker’s franchise record 70 points, there’s no question at a minimum the Celtics’ pride overall was stung.

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And when Suns coach Earl Watson began calling time-outs and having his team commit fouls at the end of the game, there’s no question it rubbed a few Celtics the wrong way.

“I don’t think anybody has ever seen that; continuing to call time-outs, continuing to foul when we are up 15. But I mean, it was obvious what they were trying to do. They were trying to get him (Booker) the most points possible. Hat off to to him (Booker). He played a hell of a game.”

Following the game, Watson defended his late-game decision making.

“Calling time-outs at the end kept the game close,” he said. “It’s basketball; I’m not coming to any arena to be liked. If people don’t like us while we build … so what? Do something about it.”

The Suns (22-51) never came any closer than 10 points, which was the final score margin.

Al Horford acknowledged that there was some aggravation following the game.

“You can be frustrated when somebody is doing that to you,” he said. “It’s not to one guy, it’s to the team so I think we’re probably more aggravated at ourselves, at least personally I feel that way. I probably could have done a little better, maybe done some different things to prevent it. We got to give him credit, 70 points, I don’t care it’s 70, he got 70. It’s impressive.”

But there will be some inside the Celtics locker room and among their fan base, who were bothered by the Suns’ late-game actions which seemed more focused on Booker getting numbers than anything else.

When asked about being disrespected by the Suns’ late-game strategy, Thomas wanted no part of that conversation.

“It is what it is,” Thomas said. “We won the game. We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery.”

 Boom!